The stability of labour relations at Port Metro Vancouver could be endangered by a new lawsuit from a group of trucking companies who are refusing to pay retroactive wages to drivers.
The award of retroactive wages was made in November last year in a ruling by the British Columbia Container Trucking Commissioner (CTC).
That followed a brief period of industrial action in March 2014 when unionized drivers shut down the Port in protest at the trucking firms undercutting wages.
November’s ruling from the commissioner followed an audit that found companies were not paying the rates agreed to in the March 2014 dispute settlement.
Now this group of 10 trucking firms has hit back by suing the CTC and the province of British Columbia, claiming they were not parties to the retroactive deal.
Canada’s largest private sector union Unifor, representing the drivers, warned on Wednesday that the new suit is without merit and could risk dragging the sides back into a dispute which would damage the Port and the economy.
It also encouraged shippers to do business only with those trucking companies that are complying with the agreed minimum wage rates, retroactively applied.